There’s a free weekly magazine called Time Out New York that lists the upcoming events of the week – movies, plays, comedy clubs, concerts, museum events, and other entertainment activities. I believe the same type of publication exists in other cities as well. There are community websites featuring such stuff, too. But wouldn’t it be great if there were a national database of such events as they relate solely to books and publishing?
Think about it. EBay, Craigslist, and other sites are so good at listing things for sale. How about a similar approach, but for books? Have a database of local events that relate to bookstore signings, author appearances, library programming, and the like. Then connect these local databases so one can search not only their city or a nearby town (geographically), but by subject matter or some other category nationally.
A friend of mine went from NY to Chicago to see a Grateful Dead Concert. Normally, he wouldn’t go to Chicago to see someone perform but this was his favorite group and the band wasn’t performing anywhere else, so he chased them. Perhaps if a particular author made a rare appearance somewhere and you knew about it, you’d go far and wide to see and hear that writer.
My suggestion seems simple enough:
Create a site with a name like Book Events or Author Sightings or Book Publishing Happenings.
Then ask publishers, libraries, bookstores, and museums to post, in wiki-style, upcoming events that relate to books and author or expert appearances.
The listings could be uniform and include basic who-what-when-where-why-how info and the listing would have a word-count limit and no images. Just keep it short and sweet.
Users can search by location, date, or subject matter, or type of venue.
Such a site could surely grow attendance at existing events and inspire others to create additional events. Everyone benefits. Publishers and authors sell books. Stores sell books. Libraries bring in patrons. Consumers are informed. It’s a win-win situation.
We’d still need a librarian or filtering censor to make sure non-book events aren’t listed and that no other commercial activity takes place. This would simply be a platform open to all, to post and read about upcoming events of interest to the reading public.
The effort to contact authors, publishers, stores, etc. takes time – and the cost to maintain such a large site is not cheap. Perhaps this can be addressed by an army of volunteers and select advertising money. However it’s done, I think it should happen. There’s no downside to having such a site.
Just as books inform the world, readers and fans need to be informed about books and the events that support and promote them. One doesn’t have to look up just movie times, upcoming concerts, or comedy club performances – they can also see all of the nation’s book-related events.
Who wants to launch this?
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015
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